Monday, June 18, 2018

U of M to Host First Women's Hackathon in Memphis

Posted By on Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 9:04 PM

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The first-ever women-only hackathon is coming to Memphis on Friday, July 20th.

The University of Memphis’ FedEx Institute of Technology, in partnership with Memphis Women in Technology and other local tech organizations, will host ATHENAtechne, a two-

day hackathon designed to “cultivate a positive environment for women in technology.”

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The event is free, and all females over the age of 10 who have an interest in technology are encouraged to attend. All skill levels are welcomed. In addition to programmers and web designers, graphic designers, artists, writers, and those in any other creative field are encouraged to attend.

Attendees will be immersed in tech culture and will create "interesting and innovative" hacks. Representatives from organizations like Black Girls Code, Tech901, and CodeCrew will be at the hackathon for education and networking.

“Part of the mission of the FedEx Institute of Technology is to build Memphis’ reputation as a national destination for emerging technologies innovators,” Cody Behles, assistant director of the FedEx Institute, said. “That mission necessitates a commitment to building the diversity of our technology community.

“Sometimes the best way to do that is to cultivate opportunities that encourage participation in unique ways. We look forward to seeing what the inaugural ATHENAtechne will produce.”

The hackathon is designed to encourage women to get more involved in the technology field, by “fostering spaces and places that create a strong community of empowered female technology professionals.”

Despite comprising 57 percent of university students nationally, studies show that only 20 percent of science, technology, math and engineering students are women. A recent survey found that about one in three employees at Google, Facebook and Apple is female.

“Over the last decade, we have seen growing opportunities for females to gain exposure to technology opportunities in school,” Sarah Holland, president and founder of Memphis Women in Technology, said. “Despite this, we see real challenges as these young women make the transition into professional environment. ATHENAtechne provides women in this region an opportunity to come together and show the amazing talent that this community has to offer.”

To register for the hackathon, visit the event’s website.

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